After spending a day writing copy for a shop newsletter that was a rubbery mixture of industry flack-sheets and local news, I recruited my strength by tidying up the draft posts in the daily column. I find I need to do this several times before a publication date as neither I nor the spell-checking imp are able to catch all my howlers in one go. I am dismayed to see how many spellynge misteaks can creep into even the simplest text. And an odd feeling that one gets when reading a paragraph nearly always proves to be due to some grammatical or spacing error. If I pass it through the wringer several times most of the lumps of language disappear.
But what does one do when another author is also roped into producing posts for the daily weblog column…and these posts have not been rectified? How does one discretely punctuate a sentence that runs on like a Korean political dynasty? Or steer a thought that veers from singular to plural and then back again with a bag of chips and one shoe off?
The pieces are actually rather good, as the writer has gone places and done things and taken glorious pictures of it all. And he is sincere in his opinions and helpful in his advice. But he seems to have forgotten his years as a teacher…or perhaps he taught mathematics or shop…
I would have been slightly snitty about subjecting my essays to a rewrite desk before this, but I think it might be the best diplomatic solution to the problem. That way he will not feel I am picking on him.